FEATURING: DW Groethe, Brenn Hill, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Rodney Nelson, Dave Stamey.
Remembering Georgie Sicking, Pat Richardson, Jess Howard and Elizabeth Ebert through poetry, stories and song. Poets DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck + Rodney Nelson share the stage with singer/songwriters Brenn Hill + Dave Stamey. This is not a memorial or tribute show. This is celebration of these four great poets who each possessed a wicked sense of humor.
From the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
A Georgie story - Yvonne Hollenbeck
"Buckaroo Tattoo" - Brenn Hill
"Till Then" - Rodney Nelson - poem by Pat Richardson
Response to "Nothing Rhymes with Lutefisk" - DW Groethe - poem by Elizabeth Ebert
"Prairie Woman Song" - DW Groethe - poem by Elizabeth Ebert
"Montana" - Dave Stamey
"Housewife" - Yvonne Hollenbeck - poem by Georgie Sicking
"Guns a Blazin'" - Brenn Hill
"The Queen of North Dakota" - Rodney Nelson - poem by Pat Richardson
"No Life for a Lady" - DW Groethe - poem by Georgie Sicking
"Bid Walter Adieu" - Dave Stamey - words by Pat Richardson + music by Jean Prescott
"Ode to Tofu" - Yvonne Hollenbeck - poem by Elizabeth Ebert
"Twenty and Cowboy" - Brenn Hill
"Rod's Wig" - Rodney Nelson - poem by Pat Richardson
Jess stories - DW Groethe
"My Brother" - DW Groethe - poem by Pat Richardson
"If I Had Money" - Dave Stamey
"Missing Person" - Yvonne Hollenbeck - poem by Pat Richardson
"One Empty Cot in the Bunkhouse" - Brenn Hill - words + music by Red Steagall
"The Sign" - DW Groethe - poem by Pat Richardson
"The Donner Party" - DW Groethe - poem by Pat Richardson
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
DW Groethe is the son of a son of pioneers. He was born and raised in the west of Dakota and has lived the past 25-plus years across the border in Montana. It is the same land...same folks...same weather...same heartbeat. The lyrics may change but the rhythm stays true. He is a ranch hand, he is a poet, he is a songster. His songs and his poems sing of who he is and where he comes from. When you’re in Elko, feel free to stop DW any old time and ask him whatever needs asking. Coffee's on him.
For more than three decades, Brenn Hill has stood under a cowboy hat and behind a microphone on countless stages blending his voice with bending guitar strings in a performance style all his own. He uses lyrical language to peel back the layers of life in the West to reveal a deeper, more meaningful, more affective, more effective, understanding of modern agriculture. Brenn is far from the dispassionate, steely-eyed cowboy of legend. He lays bare in his music a willingness to set aside the fiction of cowboy stoicism and wear his heart out on his chest. His latest work, "Horses of War," is his 17th studio recording. Brenn’s catalog is a journey into the hearts of the agrarians of the Great American West. And it took many a wet saddle blanket to build the carefully crafted insight.
Yvonne Hollenbeck is a South Dakota cattleman’s wife who writes poetry about her life on a beautiful, remote ranch where she helps with everyday duties–putting up hay, feeding a crew, doing bookwork, or working cattle. Her writing, often humorous, takes a serious side when she reflects upon the hardships experienced by her parents and ancestors. Yvonne is a freelance author, penning a weekly column in the Farmer & Rancher Exchange; an avid quilter; and the creator of her one-woman show, Patchwork on the Prairie. Most of her writing and quilting is done while waiting on meals for her husband and hired hands, waiting for a cow to safely birth a new calf, or in evenings when the ranch day’s work is done, what she calls her “found time.”
Rodney Nelson and his wife, Teri, live at Sims, North Dakota, population 2, a suburb of Almont. Despite advancing age and declining health, Rodney continues to make his living rodeoing, which has caused him to enjoy a low standard of living. His rodeo career has been in a steady decline for most of his life, going from riding saddle broncs to now competing in senior breakaway roping, which his daughter says is a girls’ event for old men. He finds it necessary to supplement his rodeo income by raising a few cattle, breaking a few horses, working as a brand inspector, writing a column “Up Sims Creek” for Farm and Ranch Guide, freeze-branding cattle around North Dakota in the coldest winter months, and entertaining banquet crowds with his brand of rural humor. He died in 2020.
Orange Cove, CA
Dave Stamey has been a cowboy, a mule packer, and a dude wrangler. Now, he is one of the most popular western entertainers working today. Dave has made it his life's work to celebrate the rural American West. In the past two decades, he has recorded 11 albums of original music, traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, and performed thousands of shows doing just that. His songs capture the life of the modern cowboy in a world of rapid transition, where some things change constantly and some things never change at all. He lives in the farthest northeastern corner of Tulare County, where the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains begin just outside his back door.
Filmed in front of a live audience at the Western Folklife Center’s G Three Theater in Elko, NV, on Feb. 2, 2019.
Made possible by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes to make this show happen.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.